The Big Burn: The Truth About Cellulose Insulation

Concerned about the safety of Cellulose Insulation in the event of fire? This video documents the results of fire safety tests on the insulation, which may surprise you with its fire resistant effects:

The Big Burn: The Truth About Cellulose Insulation

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc.

Find Rebates and Incentives For Your Home Improvements

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. is pleased to share a new resource with our clients – just click on the graphic below to access a database of rebates and incentives that can save or earn you money for the home improvements you’ve been considering making. Your list will be customized by geographic region and includes powerful search features to help you find every available benefit for which you qualify. Discover incentives offered by local power and gas companies as well as various tax agencies. Don’t wait – check it out today!

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Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia – Spring Allergy Capitals

Did you know that our region in Virginia includes TWO of the Spring Allergy Capitals, as ranked by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America? Richmond ranks as the 22nd worst metropolitan region for spring seasonal allergies and Virginia Beach ranks as the 20th worst out of 100! The list factors in the area’s pollen score, average medicine utilization per patient and the ratio of Board Certified Allergists per patient. Red Cedar, Hackberry, Elm, Willow and Poplar are some of the offending allergens and are responsible for a good amount of that annoying yellow/green powder covering your car day and night, and making the very air you breathe a combatant against your health.

Most people who suffer from seasonal allergies will stay home to avoid exposure, but they don’t realize that the home environment can be just as dangerous. Dust mites, animal dander and even cockroaches are all common sources of indoor allergens that can compromise the health of your family.

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. has many recommendations to help limit your exposure and make your indoor environment more comfortable and safer for your entire family. We suggest having old fiberglass insulation vacuumed out carefully by a professional who will ensure that the process doesn’t actually make your home dirtier. We recommend conditioning your crawl space to prevent moisture exchange with the outside air supply and to help eliminate the presence of pests. And we highly recommend installing an air ventilation system that will expel the “bad” air from inside your house to the outdoors while returning perfectly humidified, clean air to the house. In particular, we are fans of the EZ Breathe Ventilation System. This energy efficient unit operates effectively to improve your home environment and the health of your family.

How are seasonal allergies impacting you? If you would like to take steps to eliminate them, contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today for more information on all of the possible solutions to your allergy issues. We look forward to speaking with you today!

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc.

Choose the Right Contractor to Install Your Insulation

One of the more disturbing trends in home insulation is the rise of different contractors expanding into the field with no additional training or specialization. Examples include roofing and HVAC contractors, among others, who want to increase their profit margins by incorporating other services into their own repertoire. Consumers need to beware that these contractors are often more concerned with money than they are with the sanctity of your home. Their lack of experience and training mean that they are less familiar with current standards of installation, current best practices and may not have access to the best products and equipment.

Contractors who don’t keep up with trends and standards are more likely to make mistakes that could become very costly problems for you down the line. You want the latest equipment and the best materials for your home insulation. During your search for the right professionals, please make sure that you get a quote directly from someone who specializes in home insulations. One good practice is to look for someone who is BPI Certified. BPI (Building Performance Institute, Inc.)is the organization that sets the standards for all insulation installation, based on previous performance, new information and statistical data. They offer support for customers who use their certified analysts and technicians, so you can rest assured that your repairs will be handled skillfully with professionalism.

Don’t fall victim to a company that has spread themselves and their skills too thin. Choose the pros at Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. to protect your home today!

The History of Building Codes

Just in time for President’s Day, we thought we’d share an interesting piece of historical trivia. While standards for new construction and remodeling, and especially energy efficiency requirements evolve constantly, there is nothing new about the concept of setting basic rules for builders. Did you know that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson advocated for the establishment of building codes? Both were concerned with establishing basic regulations to ensure that public safety would never be compromised due to lack of established standards. Our founding fathers were as concerned as we are that homes and commercial buildings be secure places for our citizens.

Today, many standards are based on the findings and recommendations of the International Code Council, a US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization that is dedicated to building safety. The Council’s recommendations are disseminated in the form of “I-Codes” which are adopted by states and enforced by government agencies. They incorporate standards for building residential and commercial buildings, and address building safety, fire safety and energy efficiency. The codes are also used by agencies like the IRS to establish standards for tax credits, like the $2000 “25L” credit recently extended to include new homes built to certain energy standards in 2012.

The IECC or International Energy Conservation Code is established and revised by the Council and embodies many of the guidelines that we at Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. follow to increase the efficiency of local homes and commercial properties. Standards are constantly evolving and we intentionally pursue new educational opportunities and maintain memberships in multiple organizations that help us keep informed about new technology and practices.

If you want to ensure that your home or commercial property is up to the most current standards of energy efficiency, contact us today and we’ll set up a consultation to help you determine your next steps. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Source:

Wikipedia: International Code Council

What Is ENERGY STAR?

You are very likely familiar with the name ENERGY STAR, and have seen it on new appliances as well as on inserts in your power bill. However, do you know what ENERGY STAR actually is and how its programs can help you save money and energy through a variety of improvements to your home?

ENERGY STAR is a government-backed initiative to improve the comfort, efficiency and affordability of US housing. The program issues educational materials, research and recommendations to help homeowners take action to make their homes more environmentally conscious, and to teach contractors to apply best practices to help you reduce wasted energy and utility costs.

You will often find the ENERGY STAR seal on new appliances, and purchasing these highly efficient products can sometimes qualify you for rebates from your utility company or even save you money on your taxes. A simple call to your power and gas providers can help you determine which rebates are available and which products qualify, further reducing the overall cost of energy in your household.

ENERGY STAR supports and promotes the services of highly trained contractors able to perform Energy Audits using technology and observation to get a “whole home” perspective on a building’s efficiency. Certified auditors, like our staff at Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc., can evaluate your home and issue a list with suggestions ranging from simple do-it-yourself improvements to larger modifications that can make a huge difference in your power bills. You may even choose to have a follow-up audit taken after you have applied the recommendations to get a more objective view of how much energy you are actually saving.

One method of improvement that ENERGY STAR strongly supports is sealing the “envelope” of a house, preventing conditioned air from escaping and unconditioned air from infiltrating your home. Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. specializes in applying spray foam insulation to achieve this in a long-lasting, highly effective way. It’s time to start saving money and increasing comfort – contact us today!

Installing Spray Foam Insulation in Historic Properties

One of our more interesting challenges at Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. is updating and upgrading insulation in properties that have historic value. In this region, there are numerous houses that trace their origin to the pre-Civil War era, and even earlier, and many more of antebellum fame. These projects require extra care on our part as we simultaneously strive to protect history and preserve it for the future.

Historic Buildings offer us the primary challenge of limited space. Spray foam is the perfect product to stop air infiltration in these notoriously drafty homes. The foam has a higher “R Value” per square inch and can be applied conservatively yet still stop air transfer. To properly insulate historic homes, you must use spray foam.

We have insulated many historic properties with spray foam and have found it well accepted by the community responsible for protecting the integrity of the homes. If you would like to explore spray foam insulation for your historic property, contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today and we’ll schedule a consultation to discuss your options. We look forward to meeting you!

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. to Exhibit at Hampton Roads Home Show

If you are considering home improve projects in the coming year, are curious about new technologies to help your home become more beautiful, comfortable and efficient, or love all things gardening, you can’t miss the Hampton Roads Spring Home & Garden Show from February 8 – 10, 2013 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. will join over 500 home and garden professionals in a dynamic, fun-filled, informative show that is sure to send you home full of new ideas that you can’t wait to implement this spring.

Three full days of speakers, demonstrations, interactive exhibits, drawings, exhibits and more are planned for this year’s event. One highlight is a presentation by Mike Wolfe, popular star of “American Pickers” on Saturday afternoon. Wolfe regularly tours the US searching for unique and antique finds in sheds, garages, attics, basements and outbuildings that seem unlikely to produce hidden treasures. He is an expert in collectibles and is certain to be one of the most popular speakers featured at the show. He will be joined by an expert slate of gardeners and horticulturalists who will present on various topics that you can apply to your own home yard and garden.

If you’ve been considering making improvements to your home’s insulation, or having an Energy Audit to determine what kind of modifications might make an impact on your power and heating bills, visit our exhibit to talk to Atlantic Sprays experts and find out more about your options.

Visitors will also enjoy hourly giveaways, regular Panera Bread drawings for those who bring canned food to support local foodbanks, a children’s area during early afternoon hours on Saturday and Sunday and much more.  Tickets are $10 for adults, free for children under 12 years of age and $8 for seniors 62 and over, active and retired military personnel. Parking is free! Come see us next weekend at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. We look forward to meeting you!

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. and Commercial Insulation Projects

Many times our articles are geared towards homeowners, but Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. also performs a considerable number of improvements on commercial buildings. These projects have special requirements, stringent standards, and most importantly impact the civil and commercial buildings that you patronize every day.

Most commercial projects share the residential goal of improving an air barrier. However, in commercial projects, we usually apply closed cell foam to the outside of buildings, which is then covered with an appropriate façade. These projects must meet high energy code standards and have special insulation needs.

It is an honor to be selected to service these properties, and our commercial work takes us to many interesting locations. We are often chosen to perform work for the military, local government, hospitals and schools. We recently completed a building for the Navy at Little Creek and Ft. Story, and also completed one for Camp Perry. We have featured photos from the air barrier improvement at the Colonial Heights Courthouse which was considered a LEED Silver Project. LEED is how commercial buildings are rated and regulated. Silver, Gold and Platinum LEED Certified buildings meet high standards and are very energy efficient.

Our mix of residential and commercial work helps all of our employees keep current on the latest energy standards and the available products and practices. We are able, as a result, to offer the very best services to our valued customers of all kinds. If you are considering  residential or commercial insulation upgrade, contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today!

Congress Extends Tax Credit for Eligible Contractors who Build New Energy Efficient Homes

Great news for contractors who built new energy efficient homes in 2012 – as part of the recent fiscal cliff negotiations, Congress extended the 25L tax credit. The legislation provides a tax incentive for builders who can provide proof that their new home provides a level of heating and cooling energy consumption that is at least 50 percent below that of a comparable dwelling unit constructed in accordance with the 2006 IECC. The tax credit is retroactive to homes sold from January 1, 2012.

 

Builders who want to claim the $2000 tax credit should refer to IRS form 8908. For more specific information, you may refer to the 2011 documents that explain who can claim the credit and how here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8908.pdf. Contact your tax professional to confirm eligibility and to find out if you have any other opportunities to claim credits for energy efficient modifications to your new or existing home.

 

Who is an eligible contractor? The IRS form states: “An eligible contractor is the person that

constructed a qualified energy efficient home (or produced a qualified energy efficient home that is a manufactured home). A person must own and have a basis in the qualified energy efficient home during its construction to qualify as an eligible contractor with respect to the home. For example, if the person that hires a third party contractor to construct the home  owns and has the basis in the home during construction, the person that hires the third party contractor is the eligible contractor and the third party contractor is not an eligible contractor.” If you are unsure whether or not you qualify, contact your tax professional to confirm.

 

As national concern over energy independence and conservation heightens, and the economy continues to pressure homeowners to save money wherever possible, tax incentives and utility rebates are likely to become more common. Be sure to follow proposed legislation, and occasionally check with your power and water providers to ensure you are taking full advantage of the savings available to you. And contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today to find out how an energy audit may help you establish a baseline and identify points of possible improvement so you can ensure your home is operating at maximum efficiency. We look forward to speaking with you soon!